Whitney Cooley is a recent transplant to Austin from San Francisco, bringing her beautiful family and lifestyle photography business with her. When you take in her work you get a sense that she has found her niche, and loves what she does, capturing those special candid moments between family members. Among the things I love about Whitney is that she is a real mom like you and me, spending her days in sweats with a messy bun on her head, giving her all for her children, then pouring herself into her art for families like yours!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I am originally from Newbury Park, CA and lived for the past 7 years in San Francisco, CA. My family and I relocated to Austin in July 2018. So we are still newbies around here, but we are so happy to have made the leap to come here!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have two little boys! Grady is almost 4 years old and Porter is about 21 months.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I don’t like chocolate! Well, I do like chocolate chip cookies, but I just don’t like chocolate. I get so many funny reactions to that and all I have to say is that… my parents failed me. KIDDING! 😉
What is your favorite thing about living here?
I love how family friendly it is here! There are so many places to choose from where kiddos are accepted and accommodated. And there are playscapes in so many eateries!
What do you love to do with your family around town?
We are actually homebodies. We love being at home and just enjoying our backyard. Taking two little kids out and about is a little intense at times, so it’s just easier to stay home.
Tell us about your business and how it came to be, what you love about it, what makes it unique, what your goal is, etc…
I am a family lifestyle photographer specializing in family, maternity, newborn and fresh 48 sessions. I began studying photography way back in high school (using film cameras and a dark room, my favorite!). I later worked for Shape Magazine in their photography department as an assistant. It didn’t complete my passion for photography so I paused any career growth there and went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. I was a teacher for 8 years and during that time I decided to turn my passion for photography into a business. Over time I found what I loved photographing, which was families, and grew my business. My main goal as a photographer is capture a family’s love and connection. I am more interested in the hugs, laughter, and emotion than having everyone look at the camera and smile. For me personally, my favorite images of my life are the ones where I’m feeling something genuine and I want that for my clients as well. Another goal of mine, is to begin to offer mentoring to other new photographers. I love to teach and really miss it!
Are you involved in anything else within the community?
We are still pretty new to our community so we are slowly making our way with getting involved. I did recently start a hyperlocal Buy Nothing Facebook Group. If you aren’t privy to what the Buy Nothing Project is, I highly recommend that you do and then start a group in your area.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I am hoping that my business grows here! I was so incredibly blessed with amazing clients in San Francisco and I am still traveling back to photograph them! Now I am looking forward to creating great connections here and photographing as many families as possible.
See Whitney’s Listing on South Austin Moms here for her contact info and let her know you loved her interview!
Photos by Cristin More Photography